“On the day I called, you answered me; my strength of soul you increased.” ~Psalm 138:3 ESV
Lord, I’m desperate for direction. Should I return to work or stay home a little longer?
Closing my prayer journal, I picked up my phone and tapped the email icon in hopes of finding the answer to my prayer in the form of a job offer. I had sent my resume out to prospective employers and submitted multiple applications online, only to be met with silence. This apply-prayer-email cycle continued for over a month. A long, desperate month.
I’d left full-time work to stay home with our children. Now our slim budget threatened to break under the weight of the unexpected. We’d built up our emergency fund repeatedly only to see it emptied again and again by yet another emergency. With too much month at the end of our money, my return to work seemed inevitable.
When our church planned a week of prayer and fasting, I knew exactly what would be at the top of my prayer list. For a week I denied myself sweets, meats, and bread while I fervently sought the Lord in prayer. I prayed over specific needs for our family, friends, and church. I watched as God answered my prayers for others, but he seemed to remain silent about my greatest need.
On the last day of the fast, my polite tone melted. I felt unseen and unheard. I told God about my disappointment over unfulfilled expectations. I didn’t see any reason to hide it; he knows my every thought. In my prayer journal I wrote:
I want to see miraculously and clearly what is next. Writing on the wall stuff. An email from you. Do I step out on faith? Jump and hope the ground graciously meets me?